BSC president has cancer
May 9 2003 by Steve DeVane , BR Managing Editor

BSC president has cancer | Friday, May 9, 2003

Friday, May 9, 2003

BSC president has cancer

By Steve DeVane BR Managing Editor

Baptist State Convention (BSC) President Jerry Pereira has been diagnosed with a serious form of cancer.

Pereira, pastor of First Baptist Church of Swannanoa, has received a report that he has melanoma cancer, according to a statement released May 9 by the church.

"He is undergoing further tests and has physical challenges ahead," the statement said. "Please remember him, his family and his church family in prayer. He is seeking counsel and treatment at Baptist Hospital."

BSC Executive Director-treasurer Jim Royston asked everyone in the convention to pray for Pereira, his family and his church.

"During our regular Monday chapel service this week, we set aside a special period of prayer for Jerry and other members of the Pereira family, asking God to give them the strength to face the challenges before them," he said.

Pereira decided to run for BSC president in 2001 after Charles Page, pastor of First Baptist Church in Charlotte, withdrew because of a recurrence of his cancer. Pereira went on to defeat Raymond Earp for the post, continuing a string of conservative victories for the BSC's top elected office.

Pereira has been pastor at the Swannanoa church since 1985. He previously served as pastor of Central Baptist Church in Spruce Pine and as assistant pastor and minister of youth at First Baptist Church in Valdese.

Pereira has been a frequent speaker at Billy Graham schools of evangelism and describes Graham as his mentor.

Raised as a Roman Catholic, Pereira became a Southern Baptist two years after committing his life to Christ in 1974 while serving in the Army. He graduated from Mars Hill College in 1978 and received his master of divinity degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1981.

Pereira spoke at a Conservative Carolina Baptist rally in Pleasant Garden last month. He said then that he is thankful to be part of the N.C. Baptist team.

Pereira said he believes the BSC is an instrument to build the kingdom of God and to win people to faith in Jesus Christ.

"Some day I will stand before the judgment seat of Jesus and I want Him to say that in my tenure as president of your convention that I sought to lead people to rally under the banner of the lordship of Jesus Christ," he said. "My heartbeat is evangelism and it's missions and seeing people hear the gospel. I don't take that for granted."

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5/9/2003 12:00:00 AM by Steve DeVane , BR Managing Editor | with 0 comments
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